Opinion | A New Bonhomie In The East: A Warming Trend In China-Russia Relations

Power transition is a perpetual Phenomenon. Many great empires ebbed & Flowed with the passage of time. In the 18th & 19th century’s a country land forces were a great impression of its Power .During the inter-awar period the Naval capabilities were the most important figure of Power expression. During the cold war period the Power was measured the one have maximum nuclear Weapons. After the end of Cold war Power concept dramatically changed & focus mainly on GDP. From 18th to 19th century’s all of Major Powers take their part to dominate rest of the others as per their Area of influence & military capabilities.

In 1904 Halford Makinder became famous for their extraordinary proposition. He argued that whoever commanded the Eurasin heart will command the worldisland .to him the world island consisted of Asia, Europe & Africa, Whoever dominant this would dominant the world. At that time large part of the heartland was dominated by the Russian empire. Power struggle among different European Powers, in the era of Multi polarity was nticed as lust for Raw materials & influence .

After WW1 & WW2 finally a new stage of Power Politics takes its shape. Europe became a centre Piece of unity, integration & Mutual harmony.They shunned their mutual discord decades long rivalries & set together under prescribed Economic & military platforms . (EU European union -NATO North Atlantic treaty organisation ).
Sphere of influence between US & USSR began after the end of WW2. UK was no more a global Power ,France, Germany, Japan were massively bombed, their infrastructures & Economy were deteriorated .There were only Two remaining players on global stage US & USSR who’s fought decades long cold war. After the collapse of USSR ,US became a lone super Power with new liberal world order. US maximise their economic & military might with full swing .
Mighty US on the one side & rising China the Resurgence of Russia on the other hand. In the start of twenty first century new miracles happened to the new global world order. The tragedy of 9/11,Russia swift response as global actor , Rising China with massive economic outlooks , New economic alliances, regional connectives, 2008,9 economic crises & US huge financial losses against Global war Against terror GWAT etc.
After the end of cold War NATO military alliance were no more justifiable reason for the West to build up hard Power against Wounded Bear the communist Russia the only looming threat to the west.. European countries neglected military might and usually focused on soft Power. They are labelled as “free rider” in US military strategist Eye’s. European countries which enjoys liberal Democratic system ‘according to Kant Democratic countries avoids wars. Where there is democracy there will not be war.the Kantian theology were supported by even US that Democratic countries don’t plunge into the war. 2008 economic crises further intensified downward Decline in European countries military expenditures it was shocking & frustrative development for US as staunch military ally of the European partners.

Rising China is the most unprecedented development of the last few decades. China which spiral up with 10% maximum economic growth that overtook Japan as 2nd largest economy, in 2013 China became the largest exporter & overtook US as the largest importer of oil & 2014 China overtook US as the largest trading partner of US. Russia under Putin & China under Xi Xingping.

Both countries pursued coercive diplomacy after gaining stable economic growth. Their Growing soft Power finally materialised in Power politics. Russian under Putin act’s as global Power. Annexation of Crimea in 2004 , War with Georgia in 2008 & Ukraine crises in 2014 assured Russia muscles as regional & Global Power. Russia turned into its old expansionist desires to grab maximum territories for expanding its EEZ & access to Raw materials. Annexation of Crimea was just meant to make Russia access to the Black & Mediterranean Sea without any odds. Russia initiated punitive measures against their former territories which gradually falling into NATO western European Military alliance. The Baltic States, Caucasians states, CARS, are the centre of gravity of Russian influence. Russian actively acts against US & European interest in the region.
Crimea,Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine issues & Blatant support to Asad regime in Syria clarified Russia sphere of influence in the region. Russia playing as military Giant’s having massive nuclear Stockpiles & highly well equipped, exemplary sophisticated Armed forces.
Oil & Gas reserves are the secret Russian weapons against western European countries. Europe needs Russia oil & particularly gas supply. Russia used it as potential weapons to thwart Europe coercive desires against Russia physical involvement in Eastern Europe, Balkan states.here Russia enjoys Magnificent advantage against US & her allies.

Rusing China also pursuing the same strategy particularly in South China Sea region. China nine dash Policy regarding SCS is the leading hallmark of China gun boat diplomacy. China’s assertive Measures in SCS is the ultimate reason of US China strain Relations.
China share huge Area of animosity with their surrounding neighbouring countries. with Japan on Senkaku island, With Taiwan with Paracell Island , Vietnam & Taiwan confronting on Spratly Island with China. Philippine on Macclesfield Bank all of the claimants states share same rivalry with China on SCS issue .

China acting in SCS as regional Hegemon. China constructing Artificial Island in SCS for their military deployment & war time activities. SCS posses huge amount of untapped Natural resources. SCS poses oil similar to KSA oil resources & it can produce gas supply to China for next four hundred years . China acting as internally stable & externally confronting Power.

China Russian Growing Bonhomie.

China & Russia strategic relations passes to many Ups & Downs. Before disintegration of USSR Both countries experienced bitter phases of diplomatic ventures. Containment of USSR & China US Ping-Pong diplomacy under Nixon presidency Both countries relation’s went to the Edge of confrontation. Thing’s utterly changed when US triggered her foreign policy against China oriented as potential threat to US hegemonic desires .

The tragic event of 9/11 shifts US Containment policy Against China for sometime. Russian & China Felt same animosity Against the Same Enemy ‘US. Russia Geostrategic interest were challenged by US in Eastern Europe, Middle East & CARs Republics. Missile deployments in Poland & Eastern Europe. Russia punitive Police against her Former Territories was anticipated as source of confrontation with US.
China facing counter Measures from US in SCS region. US alliance with regional countries Against China fueling the growing mistrust between Two Powers. China & Russia tightened in strong economic & Political alliance SCO. Both countries has similar Political & Social system. State controlled Capitalist system under strict Visionary Leadership further strengthening both countries diplomatic relations.


China Russia economic relations spiraling up with Each passing Year. Both countries trade volume is more than $100 billion. Which will be increased to $200 billions till the end of 2020. China will be the largest consumer of oil & gas after 2030. China needs oil & gas supply from Russia. Both countries recently launched a billion dollars gas pipeline project which passing through Siberian region to China .this hundred billion dollars gas pipeline is the great milestone between Two countries growing strategic & economic partnership. Both Countries encouraging their mutual support to Russia led Eurasian economy union & China lef BRI Economic project. Both neighbouring partners want to go with win win diplomacy in very walk of domains. Russia is also Part of China led BRICS economic ,Political alliance. BRICS is the new merging economic alliance which posses huge capacity of influence. These are the potential Economic Powers which will change the future economic discourse of the world.

Military cooperation

China overtook India as largest importer of Russian military hardware. Russia sells its advanced military equipment to China. Russia shares all of its sophisticated military equipments to China for their growing military needs. Russian provided China S400 anti missile system , Su.35 fourth generation Aircrafts, . Russia helped China for building up their military might . China successful flight of J10 & J20 stealth fighter Jets, highly advanced Drones, super sonic Missile system, Submarines, destroyers small & large military equipments.

Diplomatic understanding

Both countries has similar Point of views on many regional & international issues. China share similar approach with Russia on the issues of North Korea nuclear program,Irani nuclear program,Afghanistan quagmire, Syria civil war, Black Sea ,Mediterranean Sea ,South China Sea , both countries has supportive approaches regarding these issues.

US led liberal Democracies Free market economy where price determined by the market on the other hand state controlled Economic system. Russian China reject western values, Human rights, UNDHR , liberal democracies , they are more akin to their own prevailing economic & political systems.


The irresistible Geo-Political Power shift from West to the East is an invincible fact of twenty first century .The idea that geo-political centre of gravity will shift from the transatlantic world to Asia is by no means new .it is a fact that China is growing,reshaping the world Politics, Russia is acting as global Power along.

Covid 19 further intensified the growing Gap between West & East in Power structure. Asia will be the next Power hub of Word Politics not only in military ,economic, but in scientific field innovations & research. Twenty first century is the century of Asia an old Asia which always put glaring Prints on international Power politics.

Qaiser Mahmood undergraduate’ student of international relations, International Islamic University Islamabad. The views and opinions in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Millat Times.